How to make a great first impression

When you are looking for a new job making a great first impression is absolutely vital. Taking time to ensure you make the right first impression shows that we have made the effort to be perceived well and helps to make an instant connection with your interviewer. Hiring decisions can be made in the first few seconds of an interview so getting it right will really help you get that job of your dreams.

Wendy has some advice on how to make an excellent first impression.

Be on time – aim to be a little early. Arriving late will put interviewers off immediately and even feeling like you are rushing can put you off your stride and stop you performing at your best.

Dress to impress – if you are smartly dressed and well-presented you will look great and feel confident. There is no need to buy a fancy new outfit but make sure you wear a suit or smart business dress unless specifically told otherwise. Make sure clothes are clean and ironed and shoes are polished.

Mind your (body) language – stand up straight, smile, offer a firm handshake and look your interviewer in the eye. During the interview sit straight in your chair, don’t fidget and listen attentively.

Speak well – you don’t need to adopt a different accent or speech pattern but be aware of your language. Watch out for filler words such as “um” or “er”, clichés and regional slang and try to avoid using “like” to punctuate your sentences. Reflecting your interviewer’s language back to them when answering a question helps make a connection with them and will give you more time to think about your answer.

Put your phone away – keep it in your bag on silent or switched off if possible. Responding to a phone during an interview shows the interviewer you are not fully engaged.

Finally, be positive – smile and be cheerful. Practise speaking positively about your work and experience. Avoid making negative statements – especially about current or former employers.

Good luck in your job search!

Posted on Tuesday Oct 23